I write this article as a techie. One who’s difficult to buy for. One who wishes that his family reads this before they splurge £30 on a Christmas hoody from Next. (Please don’t.) So, last-minute gift ideas for techies: what should you buy?
1. Amazon Echo Dot, £35 (normally £50)
2. Amazon Fire TV stick, £30 (normally £40)
This is only worth buying if your techie loved one is a signed-up member of Prime. If they are, the benefits of streaming high-quality video via a nippy interface makes this £30 well spent. It’s much slicker than most “smart TV” interfaces, and the Alexa voice commands work magnificently, too.
Now some might consider me obsessed with keyboards and mice – I’ve reviewed quite a few for this site already – but the Logitech M330 Silent Plus Wireless Mouse is a cracker. Its recipient may not thank you effusively on the day, but they will in the years to come.
If you think a mouse is too exciting, then how about a USB-C cable? Boring? Sure. But while us techies have thousands of micro-USB cables, we have barely any for our proliferation of USB-C-connected devices.
Rocking to the other extreme, how about a top-of-the-range Chromebook? It’s a great choice as a second machine thanks to decent battery life and the easy-to-use Chrome OS. If £1,000 weirdly seems like too much to pay for a second laptop, consider this one from Asus for £180. Order from Amazon today and it should still arrive for Christmas.
6. Gift cards
Gift cards are always welcome, but make sure you check when they expire. Some, as my colleague David discovered, offer better terms than others…
I’d be delighted to get this in my Christmas stocking. Heck, I’d even accept it as a main present. Just a beautiful phone for techies thanks to its super-fast components and striking design, not to mention a 120Hz screen. Cheaper alternative? The Honor 7X is a great compromise phone for under £300.
There are so many virtual reality headsets, with most designed to accommodate your phone – just like the new Daydream View. But this one not only looks and feels great, with a classy fabric finish, but comes with a movement-sensing controller. And because it’s made by Google, it should actually be supported for more than a month or two.
If your pet techie is also a photographer, they may well break down in tears of gratitude when you give them the Loupedeck. Yes, it’s a crazy price for a pimped-up keyboard, but it will save them time and feels top quality. Read our resident photographer’s full review here.
10. A smartwatch, various prices
For Appleistas, there is only one choice: the Apple Watch Series 3. If the £329 starting price is too high, you won’t sacrifice too much by opting for the Series 2. For everyone else, give the Fitbit Ionic some serious consideration at £250. Admittedly, we did proclaim it one of the ugliest watches in existence, but that was the (shudder) slate blue/burnt orange version.
So concludes our list of last-minute gift ideas for techies – got other ideas? Let us know in the comments below.